Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Friday, July 13, 2007

So after our late lunch, Amy and I went to the drug store, and then we went to her house, where I leapt into my swimsuit and galloped toward the back yard.

I totally forgot to mention that Sunday was "breezy," which really means, "batten down the hatches." A hot wind was blowing across Las Vegas that day, and I learned it the hard way when I discovered the Sunday paper (which I had left on the patio) had blown across the yard. I gathered up pieces of it and still managed to harangue Paul and Amy into giving me a coozie for my Coke Zero. What sweeties they were! The only coozie in the whole house was being used as a pen holder! Paul dumped out the pens and handed me the coozie for my Coke Zero, and it worked for the rest of my trip like a trooper!

In the pool, all my pique with the unpleasant lunch experience melted away. In fact, that was the *best* afternoon in Amy's backyard swimming pool! The pigeons were feeling free to come back and I enjoyed many sessions with chasing off unwanted birds. There's one pigeon that Paul calls Einstein, and I had staring contests with Einstein that resulted in my ultimate win. Woo hoo! I beat a pigeon!!!

Of course, Amy and I laughed until our sides hurt all over again. And this time, I managed to stay in the pool until the afternoon sun got low enough for shade to cover parts of the pool. This is when it's the most fabulous. You can lie there across the steps in the shade, and it's just... *perfect*.

Oh, how I wish I had my own swimming pool!!!!

Hours later, I finally did climb out of the pool and start getting ready for our night on the town. We had been planning for weeks to go to the Mix Lounge just to see the sunset, and some The Strip Podcast listeners decided to join us there.

I wore my favorite trampy camisole and a shrug, and Amy wore a gorgeous golden sweater and khakis, and we toodled off to Mandalay Bay. Which is *really* way down south. We went to the valet parking under the garage, and I asked Amy later if there is a prettier entrance somewhere. I can't imagine arriving at Las Vegas and going to my expensive hotel, only to be dropped off in an unattractive, fume-filled garage. She assured me there is a prettier entrance somewhere out front, but this entrance was closer to our destination.

We found elevators, and we went up. All the ads say that the bar is on the 64th floor, but I think they're fudging their numbers. As the elevator rose, the numbers were ticking off, and they jumped from 30-something to 64th without going through the forties or the fifties. That's OK with me! I was a little worried about my fear of heights, anyway!

We walked through the restaurant, which is gorgeous and utterly white, and were soon in the bar, which is black. We turned left and headed immediately for the balcony, and then a girl followed us out the door and stopped us, saying something like, "Are you Amy and Bay?"

She invited us indoors to sit with her and her husband. Amy said, "Let's sit outside," and she said no, they had already ordered food. And Amy said, "But the main thing was to be able to watch the sunset from out here," and the woman looked at Amy like she was crazy.

Our new friend exclaimed, "I thought WE were the main thing!"

Well, OK. I guess we really hadn't been precise enough about our plans. We had read so much about the view. And the sunset. And... we had meant to sit outdoors and enjoy both. But meeting new people can be fun, too, so -- OK! Inside to meet Rob and Suzie! Malya never showed up, and I wish I could have met her.

During a really lively conversation about business, Las Vegas businessmen (I still can't stand Steve Wynn and his towering ego that allows him to shove his own elbow through a Picasso and then turn around and sue his own insurance company because it won't pay for HIS egregious error), Suzie's X-Games cycling son, and really, lots of other stuff, too -- I kept having to run outside and take pictures of the stunning view and sunset. It really was gorgeous up there, and sometime I'm going to have to go back so I can sit on the balcony and breathe it in whilst sipping a cocktail.

I *highly* recommend the Mix Lounge at Mandalay Bay's THEhotel!!! The service was incredible, and the fare... oh, the drinks and food!...

Rob and Suzie were having crabcakes, and I was sorta jealous and really thought about getting the same thing. But after having had such a *perfect* crab cake at Mon Ami Gabi, I didn't want to take a chance.

We ordered an appetizer, duck spring rolls with "sweet & sour sauce," but I've never seen a sweet & sour sauce that color before. It was light green. And it was good. The duck spring rolls, though, were *divine*. OMG, they were fabulous!! And HOT!! Spicy hot!!!! I thought at first that it was the sauce that was hot, but on my second bite I got hardly any on my spring roll, and that bite set my mouth on fire. I didn't care; that duck spring roll thing was delicious, and I wanted to lick the cute little bamboo bowl clean when we finished our duck spring rolls.

And, oh, they were expensive, too. The drinks were $15 each. (Amy got a mojito, which was a classic mojito instead of the pomegranate one like the ones we had a Mon Ami Gabi the night before. And Amy liked the pomegranate ones better.) (I had a luscious and refreshing watermelon martini. YUM.) The tiny little delicious duck spring rolls cost a whopping $18. Compare that to my delicious and huge dinner at Mon Ami Gabi for less than $20, and I have a hard time recommending Mix Lounge's duck spring rolls…. Except, honestly, they were fabulous. I can't figure out a way to justify saying no to them.

Even though they're expensive.

When it was about 9:00 and almost time to either order more drinks or pay the tab, Amy and I realized, "Oh, we need to call Paul and figure out what to do about dinner." Darn it! We said goodbye and bolted for the elevator, worrying about how late it was. When we got downstairs, we found the ladies' room -- *I* didn't know this, but the ladies' room in Mix Lounge is quite ... something to see. I've heard and read about it *since* I was there, but when I was there, I didn't think to go to the ladies' room upstairs. Now that I was downstairs... well, whatEV, as my kids say.

We called Paul, but he didn't really want to come all the way down south to meet us for dinner. We wandered over to Mandalay Bay proper and walked around looking at stuff. Amy always goes to the Red White & Blue Café for Thanksgiving dinner, and we looked at the menu. We looked in at the restaurant that has the "wine angels," but we didn't see an angel procuring any wine from the three-story wine tower.

So I think I said, "Hey, we haven't eaten at Raising Cane's yet. Why don't we go there?"

Amy was all for it.

By the time we got out to the valet area again, it was *really* smoky and dim. I don't know if it was the fumes from the cars or if the "breeze" had kicked some desert dust into the place, but it looked positively dangerous for one's lungs.

But of the things I saw, Mandalay Bay is really pretty. Amy says I didn't see a fraction of it, so I guess I need to go back sometime, huh?

Amy loves Raising Cane's. They sell nothing but chicken fingers and fries with a special chicken dipping sauce. I got a 3-piece snack and a lemonade, and Amy got the snack with a Diet Coke. They cook the fingers fresh when you order them, so I stood there and read the poster about the guy who started Raising Cane's. He had a dream and no business experience or degree, so he couldn't get financing. He went to work at the worst jobs that pay the most money – like fishing for Alaskan crab? Yeah, that kind of thing! He saved up his money and worked hard, and then he got financing and opened on the campus of LSU. Smart boy!!! It was a great story.

And the chicken itself is *great*. We took it back to Amy's house and dined there, and yum, yum, yum! The special sauce is *very* good. Amy loves it. I happen to already love honey mustard (if you can get the *good* honey mustard), so I was a little harder to impress, but I *am* impressed. I wish there were a Raising Cane's here!!!! I would go there instead of a burger place any day of the week!

I watched some TV with Paul, and then I crashed. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Busy day! Once again, I had a fan to keep me cool, a fabulous bulldog to keep me company, and I had had a wonderful day. I know there were some mishaps, but really, the flippy baby dolphin, the marvelous views from a tall tower (that was so stable it didn't trip my fear of heights into high gear), the fabulous chicken strips and yummy dipping sauce, and of course, my wonderful, warm, companionable afternoon in Amy's pool more than made up for getting bitten on the tush. And I've decided I'm gonna write to the Hash House A-Go-Go people and let them know about our experience. Might as well give 'em a chance to make it up to Paul, if not to me!

And I had only one more full day in Las Vegas to look forward to. Ah, what a wondrous weekend!


At 24/7/07 1:01 PM, Blogger Amy said...

And then what happened?!!!!!

Just wondering. :)

At 26/7/07 7:43 PM, Blogger Amy said...


I'm dyin' here!


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